So my oldest two children got to shoot some muzzle loaded rifles tonight. There was a lot of cold wind which meant cold fingers. The two smaller rifles had not been cleaned well and the springs jammed preventing the firing of the cap, thus not discharging. That being straightened out, my son shot first. He kept wanting to put his finger on the trigger as the cap was being placed.
Next came my daughter. She did alright but caught a face of smoke as the wind changed direction. She didn't like that and would not shoot again. So my son shot again.
Good fun in the cold
The cold fingers and the muzzle loading reminded me of the Revolutionary War. In particular, of General Washington's troops crossing the Delaware on a cold, cold winter morning. The powder might have gotten wet and not fired. How did they hold the gun still with cold damp hand on cold steel. I think I understand a tiny portion of what they went through. I hope I am grateful to them, some of them my very ancestors, for their courage, bravery and honor.